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The FIREFLY Nod in Documentation for Apple’s New Programming Language

The recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference brought plenty of announcements, but one of the most important introduced Apple’s new programming language Swift. It’s used for writing iOS and OS X apps and in theory will make the developing process simpler and faster while producing better results. According to CNET, Swift also looks to be more accessible since it’s easier to learn. You can get a quick look at Swift’s capabilities by going through Apple’s guided tour, and while you’re learning about the programming language, you might notice a Joss Whedon reference that will make you smile.

An eagle-eyed member of Whedonesque noticed that documentation for Swift includes a Firefly nod. Under the Simple Values section of the tour, there’s a subsection for creating arrays and dictionaries. The examples feature the following names and corresponding occupations: Malcolm – Captain, Kaylee – Mechanic, and Jayne – Public Relations. Yes, someone behind the scenes of Swift is apparently a Browncoat.


The entire reference is delightful, but I especially like the title used for Jayne. That’s a reference to the pilot when Simon asked Mal exactly what Jayne’s job was on the ship. He answered, “Public relations.”

And that’s not the only pop culture reference in the Swift documentation. Jumping to the Strings and Characters, String Mutability section reveals a nod to Highlander. There can be only one, and the Highlander is used as an example of how a particular string cannot be modified because there can’t be a Highlander and another Highlander.


In the Protocols, Property Requirements section, the documentation gives an example of a Fully Named protocol with the USS Enterprise.


All of these geeky references might turn me from a PC gal into a Mac gal.

HT: TechCrunch

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  1. Doug B says:

    Very Shiny.